Trying to figure out the range of an electric motorcycle is like competing in an eating contest: You think you know the limits, but you’re never quite sure until you’ve gone too far. Nonetheless, we at Motorcycle.com are fortunate enough to have ridden many of the electric motorcycle offerings out there, and at the very least, this gives us a starting point when discussing the range you can expect from an electric.
When it comes to a (relatively) affordable mass-produced electric motorcycle, Santa Cruz, California’s Zero is the most prevalent manufacturer of e-bikes. Sure, Italy’s Energica has a high-end line of electrics and KTM and BMW are bringing to market electric dirtbikes (the Freeride E-XC) and scooters (the C Evolution), respectively, but we’re still waiting on Harley’s LiveWire and an Indian version of the Brammo/Victory Empulse platform. Then there’s the ultra e-bike, Lightning’s LS 218, which is offered in small-scale production, as well as the RedShift dirtbike from Alta Motors.
Riders who have cut their teeth in the urban jungle don’t understand the fear that can grip a traveling rider when the fuel light comes on while deep in the American Southwest. I’ve seen stretches of road with no fuel for over 100 miles, and on the Dalton Highway in Alaska, I undertook a section of road that I knew was too much for either my Harley-Davidson Electra Glide Ultra or the hardy Kawasaki Ninja 600 my companion was riding on the final gravel stretch to Prudhoe Bay. In most instances, a little common sense can go a long way towards making sure you aren’t stranded by simply filling your tank when it gets less than half-full while riding remote, unfamiliar roads.
Maturity. For me, I look back at the point I became a mature human as the time in my life when my voice deepened, I was hungry all the time, and I was incredibly awkward talking to girls (some things never change). I’m guessing it was an awkward time for many of us, but the term “maturity” is also one I hear a lot when it comes to electric vehicles. As I noted in my long(ish)-term review of the Zero SR, my wife and I had contemplated an electric car for our daily transportation.